Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

Maximize the Social Security spousal benefit
Although Social Security retirement benefit is reduced by up to 25% when claimed before full retirement age, retirees who earned less than their spouses may increase their payout by claiming a spousal benefit, according to this article on Kiplinger. Using the right strategy, lower earners could receive up to 50% of their spouse's retirement in addition to their own retirement benefit once they file for a spousal benefit. – Kiplinger

End-of-life planning would be covered in Medicare proposal
The Obama administration proposed rules that would allow Medicare to cover doctor's fees for end-of-life care planning with beneficiaries, according to this article on Bloomberg. "Conversations among physicians, patients, and loved ones is the standard of care," according to American College of Physicians President Wayne J. Riley. Medicare "has recognized what the medical community is doing to address the needs and requests made by patients and their loved ones." -- Bloomberg

12 steps to a stronger 401(k)
Workers are advised to make the most of their 401(k) plans as they build their nest egg to secure their retirement, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. To take full advantage of the plan, clients need to know their investor profile and their plan's investment options, participate fully in the plan, make smart allocation and reallocate their assets wisely. They should also avoid investing too much on their company stock, using their feelings when making investment decisions, taking tax consequences for granted and taking loans from the plan as much as possible. – Yahoo Finance

Social Security Q&A: Does common law marriage allow divorced spousal benefits?
A client cannot file for divorced spousal benefit on her spouse's record even if they lived together for 10 years before getting married, according to this article on Forbes. Also, being married for three years will not make her qualified to apply for such a benefit since the rule states that the marriage should last for 10 years before a divorce for couples to be eligible for spousal divorce benefits. -- Forbes

A trading tip that clients should heed
Retirement savers need to understand the difference between investing and trading, according to this article on MarketWatch. Clients who save for retirement should be investors, who don't sell easily and even buy more stocks on the decline with the goal of selling them in the future. They should avoid becoming a trader, who sells their stocks if they lose and buy new securities in the hope of earning dividends soon after. -- MarketWatch

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